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IoD – Britain is not very good at Exports…

At the Institute of Directors, we have been supporting businesses and the people who run them since 1903.

Britain is not very good at Exports…

Britain is not very good at exports.

That unfortunately is a reality. If we exported as much as Germany as a proportion of our economy we’d be in a much stronger position than we are now. That’s why the government has set hugely ambitious goals in terms of exports for the economy overall, and actually British business is delivering reasonably well but we’re perhaps not still bold enough in exploring more difficult regions – South America, Asia, Africa, parts of the world we’re not used to as a relatively small economy. I suppose that’s where I’d be encouraging our members to strike out.

Two thirds of IoD members export something somewhere, that’s usually to Europe, sometimes to the United States and if we could get them looking further afield, possibly with some government back up, that would make a big difference.

It is difficult for SMEs to export to distant locations. You’re not sure how the legal system’s going to work. You need to be confident that you’ll be paid, but there are government resources available, UKTI and also export guarantee schemes, that do make sure that you can actually do business in further locations that smaller businesses operate in now.So there are opportunities there.

The IoD is hugely encouraging. Just last month I was in Iran, for example, looking at the possibilities of exports to a market there that’s about to open up that’s very wealthy and where there is huge potential for a host of British businesses.

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